Lunar cycle linked to heart patients’ mortality, length of hospital stay

Washington: Cardiac surgery, acute aortic dissection in particular, performed in the waning full moon seems to reduce the odds of death, and a full moon has been linked with shorter length of hospital stay, a new study has suggested.

Senior author Frank Sellke, M.D., chief of cardiothoracic surgery and co-director of the Cardiovascular Institute at Rhode Island, The Miriam and Newport hospitals, said that they focused the study on patients having aortic dissection and found that the odds of dying following this procedure were greatly reduced during the waning full moon, and that length of stay was also reduced during the full moon.

Researchers studied the relationship of lunar cycles and seasonal variation on two surgical groups: Group A: Patients having repair of ascending aortic dissection, and Group B: Patients having aortic dissection and either aortic valve surgery, coronary bypass surgery, or both.

They also studied the relationship of the lunar cycle on patients` length of stay.

The study indicates that aortic dissection performed during the full moon phase had a significantly shorter length of stay than two other moon phases - 10 days for the full moon cycle vs. 14 days for the other phases.

The study has been published online in the journal Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery.


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